You have probably seen her acting in popular Luhya comedy shows or listened to her songs yet you did not know much about her. Today, popular artist Nekesa Khalayi shares her encouraging life journey with you.
Popularly known as Nekesa Khalayi, her real name is Marsellah Nekesa Simiyu, an actress with Choffuri Official Labels, an artist mainly focusing on Bukusu modern songs and a video vixen.
Nekesa grew up in Mashambani in Bungoma, before joining Central Baptist Primary School in Bungoma and later Our Lady of Mercy, Chebukaka Girls High School where she sat for her secondary school exams. Currently, she is a student at Multimedia University pursuing a Bachelor of Media and Mass Communication.
Nekesa dates her journey in this industry back to 2005, when she was a pupil at Central Baptist Primary School and took part in the drama and music festivals, where she competed up to national levels.
Later while in form three, they were visited by popular TV show Kubamba, presently Bambika which airs on Citizen TV on Sunday and it is during moments that she performed a song which grew her interest much since she then realized she could sing well.
After completion of secondary school studies, Nekesa met with popular Luhya artist Steve K who introduced him to a producer, Fidel, to test her voice. She recorded two songs with Jubal, known as Kamoyo Kangu and Umenibana respectively.
She later focused on her studies at Multimedia University, and it was not until in 2018 during the burial of John Gift, another artist where she met with popular comedian Tinny Wabomba, better known as Choffurri who requested her to come back to the industry and now focus on Bukusu songs.
Apparently just after that, they recorded the hit song Nekesa, which has been very popular. They later did another one known as Bufubi, in remembrance of her father who passed away in 2017. From there, the journey has been rising and rising.
Nekesa reveals that the journey has not been a walk in the park, especially in doing Bukusu songs because her fans who are not of the tribe do not understand the language.
“The challenge has been that some of my fans do not understand the Bukusu language, others wonder why such a beautiful lady like me sings Luhya and also the failure of support from fellow artists from Bungoma,” she says, further adding that looking for finances for recording has also been tough, as she mainly depends on Choffuri labels.
” Shooting a video song costs averagely around Ksh. 50,000 and it is a challenge for me to get such funds for production. At times, you find people with events calling me to grace their events and they don’t want to pay, rather suggesting that they are giving me exposure. Honestly!” she reveals.
According to Nekesa, local artists from Luhya land are not getting enough support from target fans. This, she references on popular social media groups which could be good platforms for supporting local artists.
“There are popular social media groups like Bungoma Digest on Facebook, which has over 100k members. You imagine if those members could be subscribing and liking our pages on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, then we could be growing well but they are not” she says.
She also decries a lack of support from local leaders, who she castigates for not supporting local artists.
“At times you may have a proposal, and when you take to them they just turn them down and say they will communicate but they never. If they could be allocating funds for us artists to help build our talents and also help upcoming ones develop their talents” she says.
Looking back at her journey, Nekesa appreciates the support from her mother Christine Wesonga who encouraged her to pursue her talent. Her further appreciation goes to her mentor and manager Tinny Wabomba (Choffuri) who has been very supportive of her.
Nekesa encourages young upcoming artists to be passionate about their works and never give up even at times when it seems there is no support because there is always a breakthrough at the end of the tunnel.
Asked on her favorite artists in Kenya, She reveals that she likes Nadia Mukami, Willy Paul, and Steve K.
With her parting shot, Nekesa appreciates the support of her fans and encourages them to support her by subscribing and liking her social media pages, which have the username @NekesaKhalayi
“I thank them for their support and also encourage them to subscribe and like my social media pages. For instance, subscribing on YouTube is free, there are no charges and just in those small ways I will be growing” she says.
WATCH her NAKHUSIMA Video ft CHOFFURI below and SUBSCRIBE to her YouTube channel.